A man wearing golden robes was sitting quietly on a cliff. Even from a great distance away, it was possible to detect the ancient ripples radiating from his body.
Lin Dong slowly walked over. Meanwhile, that figure had also detected his presence, as he immediately turned around and glanced at Lin Dong with a calm expression.
Lin Dong sat down on a rock beside the Flame Master. After which, he swung the wine jars in his hand before he tossed one over. The Flame Master caught it and played around with it, before he faintly asked, “Why? Are you no longer upset?”
“What is the point?” Lin Dong sighed softly, while he looked at the mountain behind Dao Sect. Currently, cold aura was being slowly emitted from that place, causing that entire mountain top to become covered with frost.
The Flame Master followed his line of sight and looked over as well. Then, he was silent for a moment before he said, “I acted behind your backs this time around, and it was indeed a shameful deed and perhaps even a little unfair to you and… Ying Huanhuan. Hence, it is only natural for you to be upset. However, even if I could go back in time, I would do it again.”
“During the ancient great world war, teacher ignited his Reincarnation in order to seal the crack between the planes. Only then, did he end that calamity. However, those Yimo were indeed extremely difficult to deal with. Although we tried our best to kill all of them, many of them still managed to escape. Moreover, there were a few powerful Yimo that were able to match up to us, and force us into a situation whereby we would both be injured. In fact, even though the Yimo were ultimately forced to retreat, we were also forced to enter a slumber or to enter Reincarnation.”
“Currently, teacher is no longer around. If the world descends into chaos once again, little junior sister is our only hope. After all, teacher once said that little junior sister has the highest chance of reaching his level. Therefore, all of us are willing to sacrifice our lives to protect her. Even though we were all seriously injured, we did not object at all when teacher chose to use his final strength to protect her through Reincarnation.”
Lin Dong remained silent. After all, he already knew about this. This was also the reason why the Devouring Master ended up igniting his own Reincarnation. Otherwise, that extremely talented and blessed genius would not have died.
“The countless lives in this world will only be saved if little junior sister is able to reach teacher’s cultivation level. This is the only way we can stop the Yimo’s invasion.” The Flame Master opened his jar of wine before he took a big mouthful and said faintly.
“In order for this to happen, we will use all our strength and even… any underhanded means.”
Lin Dong remained silent. Following which, he took a mouthful of that pungent and intense wine. Then, he shook his wine jar and said, “You people have noble intentions. In this regard, I am indeed lacking compared to you. However, this is not a competition that I wish to be a part of. I have fought my way and slowly climbed up from a small place, and I have also been through a lot. The reason why I am training and working hard is simple. I only want to protect those whom I wish to protect. As long as I can prevent them from getting hurt, I don’t care even if I end up riddled with injuries.”
“Perhaps you will say that the Yimo’s invasion is an extremely severe matter that affects the entire world. Therefore, should we lose the war, there is no way that I will be able to protect those that I care about. That is indeed true. Therefore, in order to protect them, I will not hesitate even if I have to fight to the death with the Yimo. Honestly speaking, I have been fighting with the Yimo through various means over the years. However… there is ultimately a difference.”
“I am not asking her to give up on that duty… It’s just that I was thinking that perhaps, I will be able to shoulder that burden. In that way, she will no longer have to carry that heavy burden, which could cause one to collapse.”
With a self mocking laughter, Lin Dong continued, “I never thought that I was qualified to become the saviour of the world. I am just an ordinary person, someone who will act selfishly and impulsively at times. However, I am willing to pay any price to protect those that I care about.”
The Flame Master looked at Lin Dong, who was mocking himself. It was a long while later before he shook his head gently and said, “Only she can shoulder that burden. No one else can do it.”
“Why? Is it because of what the Symbol Ancestor once said?” Lin Dong smiled. Under the illumination of the sunlight, he looked exceptionally determined. After which, he said, “There are no absolutes in this world. Even if the odds are stacked against me, I will never give up.”
The Flame Master gently swayed his wine jar. Meanwhile, his expression suddenly became a little complicated as he looked at Lin Dong and said, “Although in my opinion, I feel that your mindset is a little naive, I admire your courage. Once upon a time, I had the same mindset as well. After all, I fancied her and also wanted to help her to shoulder that responsibility. However, I eventually gave up.”
The Flame Master had a somewhat bitter expression at this moment. He softly said, “Ultimately, I chose to give up in the face of such responsibility. This was because I felt that I did not possess the ability to shoulder it. Haha, frankly, it is because I lack the courage. Everything else is merely an excuse. At times, I do admire your perseverance. Though your actions may seem reckless, at the very least, it leaves you with no regrets…”
Lin Dong looked at the Flame Master’s bitter expression before he gradually descended into silence. Then, he silently gulped two mouthfuls of wine from the wine jar in his hand.
The bitter expression on the Flame Master’s face quickly disappeared. Then, he glanced at Lin Dong and said, “Ultimately, our desires will not change the situation. However, since you are so confident in yourself, you should use your own abilities to prove it. We only have one opportunity and it will be reserved for little junior sister. As of now, you are not qualified to compete with her.”
Lin Dong held onto his jar of wine. He knew that it was currently impossible for him to convince the Flame Master. After all, the two of them had completely opposite standpoints. He wanted to protect Ying Huanhuan, while the Flame Master wanted to awaken the Ice Master. However, the both of them could not coexist. Ultimately, a decision would have to be made.
In order to change their opinion, Lin Dong must prove to the Flame Master and the rest, that he could surpass the Ice Master. However, this path was destined to be a treacherous one.
“Are you heading out?” The Flame Master suddenly asked.
“Aye, I will be going to the Northern Xuan Region.”
“Go. I will be standing guard. Moreover, as long as she is here, I will not stand by idly if anything occurs.” The Flame Master said.
“Thank you very much.” Lin Dong nodded and said.
“This is my duty. I will do it even if you didn’t ask.”
The Flame Master shook his head. Then, he stood up and looked at the back mountain, which was now permeated by cold aura. Following which, a gentle expression surfaced in his eyes as he said, “Actually, I really want to thank you… Haha, it has been so many years since I saw little junior sister smile like that. She has been eerily calm since young and it was as though she never had any emotions.”
“After looking at her smile, I can understand why you would want to do everything in your power to protect her…”
“Although I can empathize with you, reality is cruel.” The Flame Master waved his hand and sighed, “Go. Though we had a long chat, after my actual body arrives, I will still do what needs to be done. At that time, perhaps fighting will be the most direct way.”
Lin Dong smiled. He nodded heavily and said, “Being able to fight with you Ancient Masters is my honor. However, even if I have to risk my life, I will not allow any of you to snatch her away.”
“Haha, you got guts. I look forward to that day.”
The Flame Master turned around. Then, he shook his wine jar at Lin Dong. When Lin Dong saw his action, he immediately laughed out loud. Following which, he finished his jar of wine, before he tossed it aside and left with a loud laugh.
The Flame Master looked at Lin Dong’s back, which was disappearing into the distance. Then, he sighed softly and muttered, “Hopefully, you will continue to persevere on like this. In that case, you will not have any regrets even if you fail…”
Suddenly, a stream of cold aura surged onto the cliff. The Flame Master gently tilted his head, before he looked at that alluring figure, who had suddenly appeared on the rock that Lin Dong was previously seated on. However, he did not speak. All he did, was to drink from the wine jar in his hand.
Ying Huanhuan did not speak to him as well. Instead, her eyes looked at Lin Dong’s distant figure, before she gently picked up the wine jar that he had tossed aside. Then, she lifted her snow white neck before she gently sipped the remaining wine.
“With such a fool protecting you, it’s no wonder you refuse to awaken.”
The Flame Master finally sighed. He stared at Ying Huanhuan and smiled bitterly, “However, you should be aware… that ultimately nothing will change. He cannot shoulder that burden. Moreover, do you wish for him to experience such hardship?”
Ying Huanhuan did not reply him. Instead, she gently folded her long legs and hugged her knees with her arms. Lowering her head, she buried her head between her knees. Meanwhile, her icy blue hair was scattered like a blooming ice lotus.
Currently, it looked like her delicate figure was trembling gently. Soon after, icy cold tears fell. Those tears turned into ice flowers the moment they landed on the ground. Finally, a hoarse voice was emitted from beneath her long icy blue hair.
“I know… I will accept everything that belongs to me. However… I, I just really like him so much.”
The Flame Master looked at that figure, which continued to tremble. Even with his mental fortitude, he could still feel a slight bitter sensation churning within. However, he could only sit at the side and watch quietly. Just like many years ago; laughing at how helpless he was.
The setting sun shrouded the cliff. Snowflakes formed before they slowly drifted downwards. It was a tragic sight to behold.
The next day.
Even before the first ray of sunlight touched the ground, Lin Dong had already left. He did not alert anyone. However, by the time he arrived at the entrance of Dao Sect, there was already a lovely figure wearing a white dress quietly standing there.
“You are early.” Lin Dong smiled towards Ling Qingzhu and said.
“It is going to be a long journey to the Northern Xuan Region. The sooner we leave, the sooner we can come back.” Ling Qingzhu was still holding a longsword in her hand. Meanwhile, her clear bright eyes looked at Lin Dong as she said.
Lin Dong nodded. After which, he turned around and glanced at Dao Sect, before he sighed. After which, without hesitation, he waved his hand and turned around in a free and easy manner. Finally, his body moved before he transformed into a ray of light and shot across the sky.
When she saw this, Ling Qingzhu also transformed into a ray of light and quickly followed behind.
As the two of them left, there seemed to be a figure looking at them from afar at the back mountain of Dao Sect, which was now permeated by cold aura. That figure was just like a stone statue as she did not move for a very long time.
Then, a cold aura surged and covered her entire body.